POST TIME: 12 February, 2018 12:48:34 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 February, 2018 10:22:41 AM
AL to capitalise on Khaleda conviction
Abu Jakir

AL to capitalise on Khaleda conviction

The Awami League (AL) is planning to use the graft case judgement against Khaleda Zia during its campaign for the next general election to be held at the year-end. AL insiders said party leaders and workers have already been instructed to create awareness among people that the BNP chief and her son Tarique Rahman were involved in corruption during their past tenure. Now they have been proved as corrupt politicians by the court.


Dhaka’s Fifth Special Judge Court on February 8 sentenced the former Prime Minister to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. The court also sentenced each of the five other accused, including Khaleda’s son and the BNP’s acting chairperson, Tarique Rahman, to 10 years' imprisonment and fined them Tk. 2.10 crore each.

The Awami League formally started its election campaign in January. AL president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched her party’s campaign by addressing a mammoth rally in Sylhet after offering prayers at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) and Hazrat Shahporan (RA).

In her address on Thursday in Barisal, Sheikh Hasina urged people to refrain from casting their votes for corrupt people in the next parliamentary elections.

Criticising the BNP chief and her son for their involvement in corruption, Hasina said the two reaped the results of their past misdeeds.

“There will be no place for corrupt, patrons of militancy and terrorism and looters of orphans’ money on the soil of Bangla,” she added.

According to Awami League insiders, their party president will visit every division across the country till the next polls. Sheikh Hasina is set for her next visit to Rajshahi and Khulna on February 22 and March 3, respectively.

AL presidium member and health minister, Mohammad Nasim, said the ongoing countrywide electoral campaigning tour will continue till the next general election.

“The main objective of our tour is to highlight the incumbent government’s development activities, as well as the corruption and anarchy perpetrated by the BNP, its chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman, so that people do not make a mistake while voting,” he added.

When contacted, AL Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman said on Saturday that the party started its campaign last month.

“We will definitely use Thursday’s court verdict in our campaign. We will tell the people not to vote for corrupt people,” he added.

Apart from plans to use the Zia graft verdict in the campaign, the ruling party will also try to strengthen the public view that the judiciary is free and independent, and the Awami League had no role in the Khaleda graft case verdict.

Dipu Moni, another joint general secretary of the AL, said a political party will definitely use other political parties’ weak points during its campaign.

“But we must all be careful when utilising the verdict to gain political advantage. If we make any mistake, the BNP will use it to gain public sympathy,” he added.

The ruling party started its countrywide pre-election organisational tours on January 26. The party has already formed 15 teams, comprising central leaders, including presidium and advisory council members. The leaders will hold mass contacts, rallies and workers’ meetings in divisions, districts and upazilas.

However, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader will be present in the AL convoy during the tour of the party’s 78 organisational districts to mobilise the people in favour of the party symbol “nouka”.